Red Clay Ceramics with Macrina
  • San Marcos Tlapazola, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • 36 hours over 6 days

Red Clay Ceramics with Macrina

Learn everything there is to know about red clay with master potter Macrina in San Marcos Tlapazola, a Zapotec village that has received international recognition for its ceramic artisans. Excavate clay, learn the area's unique hand-building techniques, and immerse yourself in her friendly, warm-hearted community as you unveil Mexico's rich indigenous legacy.
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Coffee, & Tea


One Guest
USD $1300
Additional guest(s) (max 4)
USD $960


One Guest
USD $215
Additional guest(s)
USD $190

Meet the Artist

Macrina, a master potter from the indigenous Zapotec lineage, has honed her craft in red clay for almost fifty years, learning from her mother as a young girl. While her community traditionally focused on cookware, Macrina was the pioneer in her village, experimenting with diverse forms such as flower vases. This innovation catalyzed renewed interest in the red clay tradition, leading Macrina to found an all-female cooperative and international recognition.

She ventures into the foothills to excavate clay for crafting beautiful pottery like bowls, plates, salseros, mezcal cups, comales, and cooking vessels. There's no potter's wheel or kiln, just deft movements of her fingers. She relies on ancient techniques, such as using a corncob, leather scraps, a deconstructed basketball, and slivers of gourds to shape the clay. Each piece is meticulously hand-built, burnished, and cured in an open fire – the same method her Zapotec ancestors employed for 3,500 years.

For Macrina, red clay is not just a material; it's a lifeline that has inspired her to pursue her dreams despite life's challenges. Sharing this experience with her in a place deeply connected to the craft's history will be a truly enriching endeavor.

VAWAA Includes:

  • Learn everything about red clay ceramics.
  • Hike to nearby El Picacho mountain to source and excavate local red clay.
  • Understand the historical significance of red clay in San Marcos Tlapazola.
  • Learn the process of preparing and drying clay to create the right texture.
  • Explore clay shaping techniques specific to Macrina’s community, using tools such as smooth leather, shell of a gourd, corn cobs, and deconstructed basketballs.
  • Glaze with red clay followed by a delicate firing process.
  • Share traditional meals and spend time with members of Macrina’s community.

Stay at Macrina's

Stay in one of Macrina's red clay rooms overlooking a large courtyard and studio. There are two rooms available, each with two beds. Traditional breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee, and tea of the region will be included if you're staying at Macrina's home.

Explore San Marcos Tlapazola, Oaxaca

Macrina lives in a timeless Zapotec village in the picturesque Oaxacan countryside, just an hour's drive from Oaxaca City. This small town, where everyone knows each other, thrives on its pottery tradition, with 300 skilled female potters creating exquisite cookware from local iron-rich red clay. It is a charming experience as you indulge in authentic Oaxacan delicacies, visit nearby ancient Zapotec ruins, or unwind amidst stunning landscapes—a great way to unveil Mexico's rich indigenous legacy and enchanting tales.

Additional Details

Oaxaca is beautiful year-round, with summer (June to August) being the best time due to pleasant weather. April-June and September are ideal for a quieter experience. We recommend avoiding Christmas when many businesses are closed.

This VAWAA can be extended for up to 10 days. Please ask when you send your booking request.

Sessions can be adapted for kids, the elderly, individuals in wheelchairs, and special needs.

Macrina speaks Spanish and Zapotec. She understands some English but relies on her nephew to translate in English.
Macrina's Availability 6 days

Guest Reviews

  • Melissa D., Mexico

    My time with Macrina was such a beautiful experience. Right away I felt immediately welcomed into Macrina’s home and family. We spent time each day working on pieces together, learning about their traditional process. From harvesting clay, preparing it, to the final firing in the kiln.

    In addition to pottery, you’ll be immersed in a rich cultural experience that Macrina graciously shares. To m
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  • Terycka G., United States

    Macrina and her family are very welcoming and incredibly sweet. From the moment I arrived, I felt like part of her extended family. I had the most incredible experience learning pottery from Macrina. Macrina's talent in creating barro rojo pieces is truly remarkable, and her passion for the craft is evident in every piece she creates.
    Throughout the pottery workshop, Macrina generously shared her
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